The 2018 Louisville football season was one of marked change. Although Louisville lost their incredible Heisman winning quarterback Lamar Jackson to the NFL, they gained a brand new stadium expansion adding roughly 6,000 seats to Cardinal Stadium, including exclusive field-level suites, an adidas Three Stripe Zone premium seating section and a new "adidas lounge" where fans could grab food and drinks.
adidas asked us to design this lounge—which players walk through on their way to the field—and use it to engage and excite students, student-athletes and future recruits. However, after examining the experience, we realized this lounge should be connected to a much needed revamped tunnel walk experience.
Louisville wanted to make it something truly innovative—something players feel and the cameras catch during big games.
Our concept focused on the insight that at Louisville, the school is defined by the city and the city is defined by the school. They live and breathe as one Card Nation. We wanted to amplify this truth, so we created a concept called One Team. One Heart. One Ville.
Using a combination of light and sound, players felt a steadily rising heartbeat through directional speakers the moment they left the locker room, where it would steadily rise as they passed through a parade of fans in the adidas lounge. Here, we maximized budget by focusing on big impact graphics, neon signage and a photo op experience featuring adidas gear.
The heartbeat rose to a crescendo as players passed through the tunnel walk leading onto the field. Originally, this was a parking garage players walked through which Louisville directed cameras to avoid. But we turned this blight into an opportunity, reimagining it with wheatpaste posters, laser lights, music and smoke to make it a true "Holy Shit!" moment as players reached the field at Cardinal Stadium.
Meanwhile, fans experienced the same heartbeat as the giant stadium video boards pumped in EKG graphics and Diplo's "Welcome to the Party" blasted in full volume.
The result? A truly amazing experience that amped up the Louisville fan base and made for an unforgettable moment for players and recruits alike.